Link Love for the first week of February
Things I'm liking, loving, watching, or reading
Last evening, after Nate and I finished the latest episode of whatever it is we’re watching now, we headed to bed. He is reading a spy thriller before bed (don’t judge, the man reads more meaty theology and poetry than most people I know—and can somehow regurgitate it to me in almost its entirety) and I am reading from a stack of seven or eight books on my cluttered nightstand, whichever appeals most to me that evening.
I am averaging about four hours of reading a day right now between work and school and, reader, my right eyeball is twitching. This is what happens when my eyeballs are stressed. Even if I mentally feel I can go on reading, my eyeball will say, “I doth protest too much,” which is my signal it’s time to take a break. It turns out, though, there’s not much I like to do that doesn’t involved my eyes. Yesterday, I polished all our brass candlesticks in preparation for Candlemas tomorrow. Monday, I pulled out my art journal. There’s always the gym and snowshoeing, but one can only do so much of that too. I’m not complaining, I know folks who would give their right eyeball to have as much time (and need) to read as I do right now. I’m just saying this is why, instead of reading last night, I did a slew of crossword puzzles in bed. It’s not exactly reading.
Later though, the siren call came for the current memoir I’m reading called, Drinking (recommended to my by my friend, Stephanie of) and I read until both my right and my left eyes were closing.
In other moments when I’m distracting myself to death from reading about things I really, truly, genuinely love but am feeling a bit twitchy about these days, I also read:
𓆸 This piece about the longing for a fireplace that I share.
𓆸 This lovely bit of grief and truth about miscarriage.
𓆸 This piece about loneliness and relationships.
𓆸 This journey about professional jealousy and admitting disappointment.
𓆸 I listened to this from Pádraig Ó Tuama, I Feel Sorry for Jesus.
𓆸 In case you didn’t know it, my friend Sara Billups from, released her book Orphaned Believers last week and I'm still oozing with joy and delight for her. The book is good, meaty and thoughtful.
𓆸 Our new parish priest and his family move into a little house nearby today, and I’m making one of our favorite stews to warm their bellies on this frigid February day. If you’ve read A Gentleman in Moscow, you’ll remember it.
𓆸 𓆸 𓆸
I am not an interior designer and whenever anyone asks me about something or some way in our house, I feel a bit like a deer in the headlights. Almost nothing is “on purpose,” as in designed. I almost always just begin with a feeling I want to live with and then layer in colors and textures that evoke that feeling (for me). The feeling is generally “warm, peaceful, casual, and not precious.” We don’t have expensive furnishings or artwork, fragile china or irreplaceable items. Almost everything is from thrift stores and flea markets or Etsy.
Textures are important to me because it’s not just about how a place feels mentally or emotionally, but how it feels physically. There are lots of wool blankets instead of polyester or fleece ones. There is a lot of wood instead of a particle board and laminate. There are wool rugs or recycled fabric rag rugs, instead of nylon ones. I choose clay items over plastic or, for the kids, enamel cups and plates. None of those choices are for so called “clean” reasons (although there is the privilege of environmental concerns to think about), but more about how a thing feels in one’s hands or against their body. And, because I’m buying secondhand most of the time, they’re not more expensive either—contrary to what some might thing.
When in doubt, I almost always choose in earth-tones with a surprising pop of bright or burnt orange here and there. I am not a minimalist and if Nate had his way there would be a stack of books on every flat surface at all times. We are not fastidious housekeepers and, without kids, we have the luxury of a bit more time passing before we need a serious pick-up. Clutter is another thing that makes my eye-twitch, though, unless it’s the clutter on my nightstand, which just feels like a fact of life at this point.
Anyway. Why am I sharing all of that? Because this video came across my algorithm the other day and I thought it was a helpful way of thinking on purpose about design in a home. Sometimes people ask me what I’m inspired by for our home and I think if I have any answer (apart from how a thing feels), it would be Swedish Farmhouse or English Country or New England Cabin, but also your grandmother’s attic and a New York artist and a hill country ranch. Inspiration is everywhere, I guess, if we’ll open our eyes. And if we can get them to stop twitching.
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Thank you so much! BTW I bought a wool blanket for our bed this winter, and I love it!
Can you or Nate recommend a biblical commentary series? And/or a single volume commentary?